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Interesting post, Simon Cockshutt, and you are quite correct, these matters do all have to be considered. But that is the one thing that we have been told about Brexit, namely we shall adopt all laws with an EU origin and then peal away piecemeal those which we do not want to keep. I appreciate that the EU may not allow us to keep them, but they benefit as much as we do from cross-border co-operation e g reciprocal enforcement of judgments, international arrest warrants, etc etc., as we do. And Interpol existed well before we joined the EU.

But you also mention EU based employment laws. I recall having to slog through the provisions of the 1971 Employment Protection Act Schedule 19 (unfair dismissal, redundancy, etc). Nothing did more for unemployment. Employers now are very wary about taking on staff because of all the consequences if things go wrong. As an employer I was concerned about my best employees leaving, but also about the one bad one bringing a completely unfounded claim. Dismissals were presumed to be 'unfair' unless the contrary was proved. Employment Tribunals were free of charge to the applicant. This sort of legislation creates unemployment and encourages bad employment practices. Prior to 1971 if a person handed in his notice on a Friday he could be pretty sure of having another job by the following Monday. Not so after that date.

The point I am making is that all which has come out of the EU has not been to our economic or social benefit. In fact a lot of it has not. Just look at the result of the freedom of movement of people. That, incidentally, started life as the freedom of movement of workers, but like a lot of things associated with the EU it morphed into something quite different.

And I haven't even mentioned yet the Human Rights Act 1998. But, yes, we did have human rights before that date. In fact we had them from 1215 in a very rudimentary form, long before any of the states which now make up the EU. We all recall the Five Judicial Warrants (Quo Warranto, Habeus Corpus, etc.).In short they could learn a lot from us...if only they would listen for once.

Your commendable post begins with the premise that each and every piece of EU based legislation needs to be considered. Do we keep it, amend it, or revoke it, almost as if the EU was born on the Garden of Eden and nothing existed before it. In fact we had a legal system which worked, more or less, not perfectly I know, but it did work. What then is wrong, internally at least, with our going back to the 1971 position and building up from there? I am thinking in particular of human rights and employment protection legislation.

As David Willitts said on Any Questions in about 2005 "If things keep on going as they are we shall soon reach the point where every human activity is either compulsory, or a criminal offence". In Europe they think that everything must be legislated for. Here we only regulate what needs to be regulated and leave the private individual to look after himself. They are different from us. They think differently. They behave differently. You cannot legislate away those crucial facts.

Bonne année!

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